Many of cycling's heroes are travelling to London today for the start of the 94th Tour de France, July 7 to 29. Of the riders heading towards the Grand Départ there will be 17 Italians, which is the lowest since 1989 (15) but not as low as 1980 and 1981 (0).
Paolo Savoldelli, 2005 stage 17 winner, is also on his way but 'Il Falco' is not feeling 100 percent due to a fever. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, he has missed a week of training, including reconnaissance in the Alps with Vinokourov, and he is expected to be a little weakened at the start from the antibiotics.
There will be seven Italian riders from Lampre with Alessandro Ballan, Daniele Bennati, Paolo Bossoni, Marzio Bruseghin, Claudio Corioni, Danilo Napolitano and Daniele Righi. Also at the start will be Alberto Ongarato and Fabio Sacchi from Milram, Manuel Quinziato and Filippo Pozzato from Liquigas, Dario Cioni of Predictor-Lotto, Matteo Tosatto of Quickstep-Innergetic, Paolo Longo Borghini, Giampaolo Cheula and Enrico Degano from Barloworld.